Why child care benefits can help employers and employees (2023)

Why child care benefits can help employers and employees (1)

The national child care crisis hit home for Justin* when his two young children – Brendan (2) and Laurie’s (4) – childcare center closed abruptly last year. The center called parents on a Thursday afternoon to ask them to pick up their children immediately because they were short-staffed.

"I was shocked because it was in the middle of the day," says Justin, who works in logistics. Later, the center notified parents that they'd be closed the following week – or until they could find enough staff to re-open. It's a scenario that's played out across the country.

One in three households with young children (ages 4 and under) report having "serious problems finding daycare," according to a survey from National Public Radio and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.1

(Video) Why Do Employers Offer Childcare Benefits?​​ | Childcare Benefits 101 by WeeCare

The pandemic has only exacerbated the ongoing child care shortage as providers struggle to find and keep workers. But while the issue is challenging for families, they aren't the only ones impacted. The child care crisis costs $57 billion in revenue, earnings, and productivity losses annually for employers and employees alike.2 Fortunately, employers have options and can offer benefits that can help lessen the child care challenges faced by working parents.

A deepening child care crisis

A shortage of child care resources was problematic before the COVID-19 crisis, and it's only gotten worse. A study by Child Care Aware of America reports that almost 16,000 child care centers shuttered between December 2019 and March 2021.3 The study shows that these closures were in part driven by a broken ecosystem. Part of the problem may be due to the low wages associated with the child care profession.

For example, the average child care worker earns just under $12 an hour, which means a quarter of all workers live at or below the poverty level.4 These low wages contribute to staffing shortages, leading to temporary and permanent closures. During the pandemic, illness and quarantines (of kids and care providers) added another level of unpredictability, which proved to be the last straw for some daycares and preschools. While further rate hikes to increase employee pay is an option, this could make care even more unaffordable for some families, who already dedicate an average of 10% of their income to child care costs.5

With all the challenges, securing consistent child care can be a daunting task. And that’s with ample lead time. Finding care with only a day or two of notice because a center abruptly closes? For many, that's not feasible. So instead, when faced with this situation, some working parents may struggle to find a solution that works.

Unfortunately for those without work-from-home opportunities, this can mean tardiness or absenteeism. According to a study by Council for Strong America, more than 60% of parents say they've left work early due to child care issues. Fifty-six percent have been late to work because of child care issues, and 55% have missed a whole day.2

(Video) Employers offering child care as a benefit

The impact of this issue reverberates across companies and individual careers. Parents struggling with child care often miss career-enhancing opportunities, such as additional training and promotions. Women, and especially women of color, are disproportionately impacted. Faced with few child care options, many women put their jobs on hold. Consider that more than 2 million women left the labor force during the COVID-19 crisis, primarily to care for children.6

How employers can help

Employees can't wait for a nationwide solution to their child care shortage – they need help now. Thankfully, employers can support employees through this crisis with by offering smart solutions that help parents find and fund child care. Consider the following:

1. Alleviate the stress of finding care

Finding and vetting child care options can feel like a second job, replete with interviews, online searches and social media pleas. However, offering a caregiving service like Wellthy7 can help reduce this stress by helping employees find and access caregiving resources. Wellthy connects your employees with a dedicated care coordinator tasked with tackling the caregiver search.

Parents can use the service to evaluate and vet babysitting resources and part-time or live-in nannies. The company also helps parents access resources like:

  • Academic tutors,
  • In-home or on-site learning solutions,
  • Afterschool activities and more.

Each parent is matched to a care coordinator who provides parents with choices based on their budget, needs, and other relevant circumstances, reducing the work of the search – and increasing the likelihood of finding care that works.

(Video) Workplace child care with tax benefits to employers

2. Make affording care easier

Finding child care is the first hurdle – and paying for it is the next. This is where a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)8 can make a meaningful difference. This type of FSA enables employees to save pre-tax dollars that can be used to pay for eligible dependent care expenses incurred while participating in the plan. Employees can withdraw the funds tax-free to pay for qualified expenses such as daycare, afterschool care, preschool, and even summer day camps. However, the children must be under 13 or other tax dependent who resides with the employee and is physically or mentally incapable of self-care.

The accounts do have a contribution limit in 2022 of $5,000 for married or single filers ($2,500 for those married, filing separately). And like other FSAs, the funds don't roll over year-to-year, so employees need to plan how much they want to spend annually. Employees must spend the entire balance before the end of the plan year or they will lose it. While some plans may offer a grace period or extender, that is determined by the employer.

Finally, employees can't use the child tax credit and a Dependent Care FSA simultaneously. That said, the tax savings provided by accounts give employees a way to make their child care dollars go further.

For those caring for children with special needs and/or aging loved ones, Voya Cares®9offers several valuable informational resources, thought leadership and services to support caregivers in the workplace. Visit VoyaCares.com and connect with a Voya representative today.

3. Leverage Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)10

Many employers offer EAPs as a mental health resource for employees, but did you know EAPs can also offer child care support or resources? Some EAPs offer employees personalized attention for multiple work-life needs, including help with finding child care.

(Video) Kids are Good Business! : How Employers can Earn Benefits for Helping to Provide Childcare

EAP specialists can give referrals to child care providers and information about additional child care resources available to employees. In addition, the programs can connect parents to other resources that can help them stay mentally and emotionally well as they navigate work and family life.

A fit for families

For Justin, the sudden closure of his children's daycare highlighted the precarious nature of child care and how a change can upend life at work and home. It's familiar stress for families around the country. However, support from employers can help and encourage employees to stay engaged, productive and maybe even lessen the stress of navigating child care challenges.

By providing benefits that can help employees find child care and other resources for their needs, employers can reduce the burden on working parents and encourage a workplace that genuinely supports parents and families.

Interested in learning more about how you can best support your employees? Connect with a Voya representative today.


Why is childcare important to employers? ›

Workplace day care can improve employee morale and lower absenteeism and turnover because fewer employees need to take time off to look after their children, according to an article in Bloomberg Businessweek. This leads to lower company costs.

What are 5 ways companies are benefiting by providing child care benefits? ›

what are five ways that companies are benefiting by providing childcare and early education benefits? Less turnover and absenteeism,better work attitudes,attraction of new employees and improvement of community relations.

What qualities do you think are important for a child care employee to have? ›

Child care workers should also possess the following specific qualities:
  • Communication skills. Childcare workers must be able to talk with parents and colleagues about the progress of the children in their care. ...
  • Decision-making skills. ...
  • Instructional skills. ...
  • Interpersonal skills. ...
  • Patience. ...
  • Physical stamina.

Why is working in childcare rewarding? ›

It's an opportunity to watch children grow and develop into confident, self-sufficient learners. For many childcare teachers in the field, it's the realization of a long-held ambition. These are the individuals who make the best educators because they have a strong desire to excel in the field.

What is the most important thing to working with children? ›


Since children like to test the boundaries, it's important to have patience. Having a calm demeanor is essential when being faced with challenging behavior. Patience will also help with defusing any situations that arise with conflicts either between adults or other children.

Why is childcare environment important? ›

Research tells us preschool-age children learn best in environments where they can have secure relationships with caring and responsive adults, where they feel safe, and where they feel free to explore and learn.

What are 5 common benefits offered by employers to their employees? ›

Here is a list of the most common employee benefits in 2022:
  • Health Insurance. ...
  • Life Insurance. ...
  • Dental Insurance. ...
  • Retirement. ...
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) or Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) ...
  • Paid Vacation and Sick Time. ...
  • Paid Holidays. ...
  • Paid Medical Leave.

What are three benefits of working with children and families? ›

Benefits of Working With Children
  • -You can watch the kids grow as people. One of the best parts of working with children is seeing them grow as people. ...
  • -Always learning new ways to help children excel. ...
  • -Better patience with everyone. ...
  • -Growth in yourself. ...
  • -It makes you see the world differently.
Mar 14, 2022

What are three advantages of employee sponsored on site childcare? ›

On-site child care companies help employers provide quality, affordable child care that solves care challenges for workers. Reliable on-site care programs help to avoid breakdowns in care, reduce commute times, and allow workers to concentrate more fully on their jobs.

What qualities would be most important for a child care environment to have? ›

5 Qualities of A Good Childcare Provider
  • Patience : Patience is the most important quality a childcare provider should have. ...
  • Communication skills : Having strong communication skills is an essential trait to be successful as a childcare provider. ...
  • Positive regard for kids : ...
  • Energy : ...
  • Proper training :

What are 5 qualities that should be demonstrated by all health care workers? ›

Interpersonal Skills for Health Care Management
  • Empathy. In health care, it's important that you can empathize with patients and the difficult situations that others are facing. ...
  • Communication Skills. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Work Ethic. ...
  • Stress Management. ...
  • Positive Attitude. ...
  • Flexibility. ...
  • Time Management.
Sep 24, 2019

What is your greatest strength in childcare? ›

5 Skills & Qualities a child care worker must have
  1. Decision – making skills. While taking care of children there are going to be many situations where the child care worker must act quickly and make an appropriate judgment to fix the problem. ...
  2. Being patient.
  3. Communication skills.
  4. Monitoring skills.
  5. Being enthusiastic.

What motivates you to work with children? ›

Why do I like to work with kids?
  • Working with kids is fun! I love that no single day at work is the same! ...
  • I learn from the children I'm working with every day! I admire children's: ...
  • Children motivate me to be a better person. ...
  • Helping children (and their families) is the most rewarding job I can think of!

Why does working with children make you happy? ›

Children make you a more knowledgeable person: Children are, by nature, very curious. Working with children reminds you of how amazing and exciting the world can be. You'll love seeing things from their eyes. It makes you a happier and more positive person in your day-to-day life.

Why do you want to work in childcare interview answers? ›

Example: “Ever since I volunteered to participate in educational activities for children at my local library, I have wanted to help take care of children. I see the potential of being a positive influence in their lives and helping them learn in an age-appropriate manner.”

How do you build positive relationships in childcare? ›

To build positive relationships with others, children need to develop 'social competence' and the ability to interact with others with care, empathy and respect. Social competence is the foundation that allows children to understand and self-regulate their own emotions and negotiate their interactions with others.

How do you describe child care on a resume? ›

3. Be specific about your child care experience
  1. The ages of children you've supervised.
  2. Milestones you've helped children reach.
  3. Duties that allowed you to overcome child care challenges.
  4. Additional household duties you've performed.
  5. Your experience transporting children to activities and appointments.
Feb 3, 2023

What are some benefits of kids working? ›

Benefits of a Teenager Getting a Job
  • Earning money. This is usually the most obvious benefit, especially from your teen's perspective. ...
  • Learning important skills. High school students who work learn good time-management skills and organization. ...
  • Building character. Working teaching kids responsibility and accountability.
Apr 10, 2023

What is a positive environment in a childcare setting? ›

Offering young children calm, nurturing, and predictable social and emotional environments, and promoting their self-regulation skills, helps them feel safe and secure so they can learn, play, and grow.

What are the 3 important components of an early childhood environment? ›

In early childhood learning environments, social components include the orientation of the space, flexibility for different group sizes and activities, and materials and activities that promote interaction.

How do you provide a supportive environment? ›

Qualities of a supportive physical environment
  1. Fun and engaging playgrounds with safe and age-appropriate equipment.
  2. Purpose-built and adaptable sporting facilities.
  3. Green and open spaces.
  4. Classrooms and learning spaces designed and set up to encourage movement.
  5. Outdoor classrooms.
  6. Secure bike and scooter storage.
Jan 31, 2021

What are the top 3 benefits employees want most? ›

Top 5 Benefits Employees Want From Employers
1Employer-covered healthcare
2Life Insurance
3Pension and retirement plans
4Mandatory paid time-off
5Mental health assistance
Feb 6, 2023

What are 3 benefits of an employee? ›

The most common benefits are medical, disability, and life insurance; retirement benefits; paid time off; and fringe benefits. Benefits can be quite valuable.

What are employee benefits important to employees? ›

Why are employee benefits important? Offering benefits to your employees is important because it shows them you are invested in not only their overall health, but their future. A solid employee benefits package can help to attract and retain talent. Benefits can help you differentiate your business from competitors.

What is important when working with children and families? ›

Compassion and empathy

The ability to relate to and interact with the children and families that you work with will depend on your ability to find understanding in others' ideas, thoughts and feelings.

What kinds of employment benefits should be provided to workers and their families? ›

Social Security and Medicare. Unemployment insurance. Workers' compensation insurance. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protections.

What are the benefits of direct work with children in social work? ›

It supports us to capture the child's voice. Children are very insightful into their own situations and direct tools can support them to express themselves. Direct work is an outlet for difficult emotions, thoughts and feelings it supports children to process and make sense of their world.

What are 4 benefits of employee involvement? ›

The main benefits of employee involvement and empowerment are enhanced morale, more productivity, healthier coworker relationships, creative thinking and worker retention at the company.

What are three benefits that individual workers receive from being part of a team? ›

Working in a team encourages personal growth, increases job satisfaction, and reduces stress.

What is one key advantage to an employer sponsored? ›

Enrolling in an employer sponsored plan gives employees the advantage of better benefits at a lower cost, while employers receive tax savings and more interest from job seekers.

Which is considered a benefit of a quality child care program? ›

Children who receive quality child care are more likely to develop social and learning skills at a younger age. These skills help children build and maintain better relationships with parents, adults and other children.

What is the most important thing in a child's environment? ›

One of the most important influencing factor on your child's development is his/her family. Irrespective of who is your child's primary caregiver – you and your spouse, older siblings, or relatives – the bonding provided within a family home helps nurture and protect your child physically and emotionally.

What do you think is the most important quality to look for in a childcare setting for preschool age children and why? ›

Active Learning

We call this “active learning” or “hands-on learning,” and it's an important characteristic of any high-quality preschool or nursery program. Lots of reading time, arts and crafts, music, dance, exploring the natural world, outdoor play—these are all critically important to young children.

What do you think makes a good support worker? ›

The ability to communicate clearly and sensitively when talking to people and their families. Good listening skills. Great problem-solving skills and the ability to adapt and act accordingly to situations. Good time management skills to be able to support the needs of multiple people.

What qualities do you believe a care and support worker should possess? ›

Qualities of a Care Worker: Do You Have Them?
  • Passion. Being a carer is more than just a job. ...
  • Dedication. As is often the case, the personal qualities of a care worker complement each other; working together to create amazing carers. ...
  • Friendliness. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Flexibility. ...
  • Qualifications.

What are the positive experiences of a care worker? ›

Many family caregivers report positive experiences from caregiving, including a sense of giving back to someone who has cared for them, the satisfaction of knowing that their loved one is getting excellent care, personal growth and increased meaning and purpose in one's life.

What is your greatest strength when working with children? ›

Skills required to work with children
  1. Communication. Being able to communicate with a child is essential for understanding their wants and needs. ...
  2. Behavioral management. Children like to test the boundaries, regardless of their age, mental or developmental stage. ...
  3. Patience. ...
  4. Creativity. ...
  5. Enthusiasm. ...
  6. Dedication.
Mar 10, 2023

What are your top 3 strengths that will help you succeed in this role *? ›

Hands-On Jobs Strengths
  • Hard-working.
  • Detail-oriented.
  • Motivated.
  • Good at multitasking.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Punctual.

What are your greatest strengths in a working environment? ›

Reliable. Loyalty and dependability are always top strengths in the workforce. This person is on time and can always be counted on to not only complete their work but help others with theirs, too. No matter the chaos the workday brings, a reliable employee is one a supervisor can turn to on the road towards success.

How do you motivate a team in childcare? ›

4 Ways to Maintain Motivation with Your Childcare Staff—Without Spending a Dime
  1. Recognition and praise. Simply recognizing the hard work your teachers do can go a long way toward motivating your childcare staff. ...
  2. Respect and follow through. ...
  3. Positive leadership. ...
  4. Daily communication. ...
  5. Keep the motivation going.
May 25, 2021

Why should we hire you? ›

“I should be hired for this role because of my relevant skills, experience, and passion for the industry. I've researched the company and can add value to its growth. My positive attitude, work ethics, and long-term goals align with the job requirements, making me a committed and valuable asset to the company.”

What I love most about working with children? ›

Working with children provides you with the opportunity to develop a new purpose each day. Nothing is going to come easy, but there is nothing more gratifying than breaking through to a child and seeing them have that “ah ha” moment that you've both been striving towards. Working with children is not going to be easy.

Why do you enjoy working in childcare? ›

It's an opportunity to watch children grow and develop into confident, self-sufficient learners. For many childcare teachers in the field, it's the realization of a long-held ambition. These are the individuals who make the best educators because they have a strong desire to excel in the field.

Is working with children fulfilling? ›

There aren't many jobs more fulfilling than those working with children. When you work with kids you can watch them grow, develop their own personalities, and see the world through their eyes. As the kids get older, you can see how you have influenced them and impacted their daycare experiences.

Does having children make people happier? ›

Parents also reported more positive emotional experiences and meaning from moment to moment. Researchers at Santa Clara University discovered that parents become happier over time than non-parents. Parents experience increased social connection and well-being over time.

How to answer interview questions for child care? ›

Keep your answer factual but positive, highlighting what you learned and your optimism for the future. Example: 'My last job was my first role in child care and I am so grateful for the opportunities that position provided. While I learned a lot, I had a junior role which limited my responsibilities.

What is an example of benefit to company? ›

These benefits may include group insurance (health, dental, life, etc.), retirement benefits, education loans, other loans (house loans, vehicle loans, etc), sick leaves, vacations, and flexible alternative arrangements.

What are four different benefits companies offer? ›

There are four major types of employee benefits many employers offer: medical insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, and retirement plans. Below, we've loosely categorized these types of employee benefits and given a basic definition of each.

What are 5 important questions parents need to seek answers to when choosing early childhood programs? ›

High 5 Questions to Ask When Visiting an Early Learning Center
  • What's happening in the classroom? ...
  • How are teachers and children getting along? ...
  • How do teachers guide, and when needed, redirect children's behavior? ...
  • How do teachers talk with children? ...
  • How do teachers communicate with parents?
Nov 27, 2017

How important are benefits to employees? ›

Why are employee benefits important? Offering benefits to your employees is important because it shows them you are invested in not only their overall health, but their future. A solid employee benefits package can help to attract and retain talent. Benefits can help you differentiate your business from competitors.

How do you explain benefits to an employee? ›

Avoid noninformation that's factually accurate but of little value to someone who isn't a benefits wonk. Appeal to employees' logic ("Here's what is changing for you") and their emotions ("Here's how it will benefit you"). Provide timelines and a clearly designed side-by-side comparison of different options.

What are the most important benefits for employees? ›

Most Desirable Benefits According to Employees

If you want your benefits package to remain competitive, you'll want to offer health insurance, some disability and life insurance, and probably a retirement plan, such as a 401(k).

How do you answer how you will benefit the company? ›

How to answer "What can you contribute to this company?"
  1. Provide concrete examples from your past. ...
  2. Discuss your skills. ...
  3. Demonstrate how your skills fit with this specific company. ...
  4. Support your answers with data.
Mar 10, 2023

What is an example of an employee benefits plan? ›

Some examples of employee benefits are health insurance, stock options and medical insurance; these are some basic benefits offered to employees. Some of the employee benefits are country-specific. For instance, life insurance is one of the key components of employee benefits.

What do many employers offer as benefits to employees? ›

Depending on the company, these benefits may include health insurance (required to be offered by larger companies), dental insurance, vision care, life insurance, legal insurance, paid vacation leave, personal leave, sick leave, child care, fitness, retirement benefits and planning services, college debt relief, pet ...

What are two examples of employee benefits? ›

Common employee benefits examples
  • Health insurance.
  • Disability insurance.
  • Dental and vision insurance.
  • Life insurance.
  • PTO/paid holidays.
  • Retirement planning.
  • Family leave.
  • Remote work or flexible schedules.
Feb 16, 2023

What supports and helps the employee to maintain work life balance? ›

Encourage your employees to take breaks, take a walk or even work in an entirely different part of the office. You can create break-out rooms or set aside spare desks that workers can go to. Sometimes team chatter and phones can be overwhelming and it's healthy to break away for a bit.

What are the things that you value the most in a quality child care center? ›

Great daycare centers go above and beyond to ensure children's safety. This includes childproofing, food safety practices, a well-kept and maintained play space with sets of toys (making sure none of have been recalled) and constant supervision.

What is the most important factor to consider when choosing childcare? ›

Pick a childcare center with a warm and welcoming environment. Make sure that the location is also safe for young children. Find out if the school has safety and security procedures to protect their students. Are the buildings, classrooms, playground and outdoor areas safe for kids?


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